Thirteen-time PGA Tour winner David Duval walked off the 18th green at Royal Portrush and the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday wondering what just hit him.
"Just done something I've never done as a professional," Duval said in Portrush, Northern Ireland. "It was a long day, a rough day. A very unique, awful situation."
Duval carded a career-worst 14 on a single hole and finished with a 91, six shots more than the 47-year-old ever previously needed in his worst round as a pro.
The 1991 Open winner played in four prior PGA Tour events this year and participated in a Korn Ferry Tour event last week in Colorado. As a past major champion, he remains exempt for The Open until age 60. Duval might feel as if he aged rapidly on Thursday.
On the par-5, 592-yard seventh hole, Duval hit two tee shots that weren't found by marshals immediately. He was required to hit a provisional tee shot in the event neither of the first two balls could be located in the thick rough.
With no luck discovering the first two shots, Duval approached and hit what he thought was his ball -- and fifth shot on the hole.
But it wasn't his ball, and this fact wasn't apparent until Duval already had hit the ball multiple times.
"I get up to the front of the green, I discover it was the wrong No. 2 Titleist," he said. "I am at fault, I didn't check it myself close enough. It happened to me once before -- a marshal is standing right next to the ball. It's just my mistake."
The punishment was Duval returning to the tee box to start all over, plus a two-stroke penalty.
Six shots later, he rolled in for a 14.
"It's fairly unsettling," Duval said. "As a professional, if you play, you post your score. Is there some hint of embarrassment to it? I don't know, but I teed off and what I shot at the end of the day, put it on the board."
He wound up with three scores of triple bogey or worse on Thursday, a dubious accomplishment that hadn't happened in the same round at The Open since 2003, when Duval shot 83 at Royal St. George's.
--Field Level Media